Going back to where it all began

It’s not a surprise that Facebook is changing, but what does it mean for brands? Is the once-king of social still relevant?

It’s not a surprise that Facebook is changing, but what does it mean for brands? Is the once-king of social still relevant?

Late last week Facebook announced or, rather, made it ‘official’ that they’re making major adjustments to its news feed. The shift will see the platform returning to ‘people and relationships’; their original raison d’etre.

The social media giant will prioritise content shared by users’ family and friends; reducing the amount of unpaid ‘organic’ content from publishers and brands. So it’s no surprise that paid media for ads and branded content won’t change, and remains a key priority for the platform.

This is a long-term shift, and Facebook is expecting a more engaged audience to develop over time. As a result, brands relying on Facebook as a free distribution channel will likely see a dramatic loss in engagement and reach.

So, what does this mean for content creators and brand managers? Of course, we’re the ones losing out when relying on Facebook to drive page views.

Looking on the bright side

This can be a positive reminder to lead with an integrated paid, owned and earned approach for distributing content. Relying solely on external channels alone is a dangerous strategy.

Our job is to create content that resonates with our audience, and Facebook doesn’t have to be the priority.

Paid Social is and will remain a necessary way to reach the right audience at the right time with the right content; Influencer marketing as a form of earned media can also drive great results. All of these must work together.

Social media channels are continually evolving, and as smart marketers we must always be thinking and planning ahead; No channel is fail-proof, but the most reliable are those we build and own. BuzzFeed, Metro etc. are consistently providing content to their readership/audience. They’ll see a drop in social engagement, but their websites are owned channels that audiences will keep returning to.

Lastly, let’s remind ourselves that content marketing provides value to a defined audience, it is not advertising.

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